Signs of the Times

[From the Guardian, London, England]

"That men ought always to pray," considering the source of those words, forces us to re-think out the meaning of prayer and its place in our life. It seems certain that the "men" Christ [Jesus] had in view were, with some exceptions, those whose vocation lay in the world. His own example was that of one absorbed in business—the ceaseless business of healing, teaching, organizing. And yet it seems impossible ever to separate the conscious life of Christ [Jesus] as disclosed in the Gospels from his consciousness of the Father. So impressive is this uninterrupted communion that its only analogy is that of a person working breathing at the same time. When we say that a man is working, it is scarcely necessary to add that he breathes! Similarly, in the work of Christ [Jesus] we see the expression of his filial consciousness. The unceasing prayer which he inculcated was exemplified in him by the spirit in which he wrought.

Ceaseless prayer is possible as the continuous expression of conscious sonship. Prayer and our life in the world are thus not two different things, but the same thing viewed outwardly or inwardly. What we call "action," of every conceivably right kind, is the expression prayer takes. So much deeper goes the old saying laborare est orare, than we commonly penetrate. It means not that work is a substitute for prayer, but that our work is or should be—must be—the exact equivalent of our prayer.

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December 17, 1927

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